Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool cannot afford to give Manchester City any space in the Premier League title race.
The Reds briefly leapfrogged their rivals at the top of the table with a 2-0 victory over Watford on Saturday lunchtime, but City responded with a 2-0 win of their own to reclaim top spot.
The two wins set up an enticing clash between the pair at the Etihad next weekend, with a victory for either side giving the winner the initiative in the title race.
Liverpool won the title in 2019/20 and could reclaim it this season, though Klopp reiterated his team remain focused on each game as it comes.
He said: “You can’t give an inch. To keep in the title race we have to win our football games, otherwise it will be really tricky. The next Premier League game is a big one [against City next Sunday], we can’t hide from that, but before then we have an important Champions League game to prepare for at Benfica.
“I really appreciate the situation we are in. I said to the boys yesterday that if someone had told us in the summer that in early April we would be in this situation – won one trophy, in three competitions, full squad available – we should all take it.
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“The only better situation would be to be 20 points ahead of City but that’s not possible. That’s why it is all fine like it is. I don’t think we are favourites in one of the competitions we are in but who cares, we will give it a try.
“It’s not about managing the situation or the pressure. People see the situation like pressure – I’m not sure I can change that. We create a basis which we can use but no one knows because opponents have their own targets and go for it. People thought Watford would be an easy game but we saw what happened. We cannot see situations like that.”
Next up for Liverpool is the first leg of their Champions League quarter final with Benfica on Tuesday before that exciting trip to the Etihad on Sunday.